Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ava Joy's Birth Story, Part 1

I'll be honest: I was expecting Ava Joy to be born by 38 weeks. I told God that for every day past 38 weeks that I carried her, He should shave an hour off my labor. And my labors were both less than 12 hours.

On Thanksgiving day, I was 38 weeks and 6 days. I felt pretty good and hosted my folks, my sister, and John's sister and her husband (although, to be honest, I did not cook a lot.) I ate. The food was good. I kept telling the baby to come out. There were about 3 random contractions.

Once the evening began to settle a bit, my sister encouraged me to do something, anything, to get labor going. I knew I was 4cm dilated and 80-90% effaced at my OB visit earlier in the week. And John and I had tried, um, a natural way to start labor. The day before I had even gone for an acupuncture session to help get the labor juices flowing. My sister was also doing some accu-pressure on labor spots. Still nothing.

I decided to do some squatting. My back was hurting and squatting usually helped. After a few minutes...

Okay, stop. I am about to get really personal and graphic. If you don't like this kind of stuff, just stop reading. I'm warning you.

So, after a few minutes of squatting, I swear I felt something in my vagina. I got up, walked around a bit, and went to the bathroom. The sensation of fullness in my vagina was so intense that I was afraid to bear down because I thought the baby might just pop out! When I was done in the bathroom (and reassured that there wasn't a little hand sticking out or something), I got John.

For the most part, being married to a doctor is helpful. But like most internists, there are a lot of OB type questions that John is completely useless to answer. However, I felt pretty sure he could help me on this one. I asked John to step into our bedroom. I explained the situation then asked him to do a quick pelvic exam to make sure there wasn't any part of the baby or cord protruding. I really felt strange, but if nothing was where it shouldn't be, I didn't want to make a trip to the hospital on Thanksgiving night!

He argued with me, but in the end decided my plan was best. Good husband.

Now, here's what you need to know about John and matters relating to women's health: the last pelvic exam he did was about 5 years ago on a woman in the ED, and he did the bare minimum required for his training. Which is to say, he is not an expert at pelvic exams by any stretch of the imagination.

So it was pretty disconcerting when he looked at me and said "well, I don't know what's going on, but I can tell that something is not right."

1 comment:

E and K said...

I decided I'd go back and leave a comment on your post so you'd have proof someone did read it!

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